ArtPlace America Awards Higher Ed Grants Totaling $2 Million

ArtPlace America Awards Higher Ed Grants Totaling $2 Million

ArtPlace America — a collaboration of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions working to position arts and culture as a core component of equitable community planning and development — has announced grants totaling $2 million in support of efforts to integrate creative placemaking into the curriculum.

With the goal of strengthening the knowledge base of the creative placemaking field and increasing access to teaching and learning about the field for the next generation of changemakers, the organization awarded grants to seven colleges and universities offering creative placemaking programs. Selected from twenty-four institutions invited to submit proposals, the recipients include Arizona State University, which was awarded $400,000 in support of new concentrations and minors for several degree programs at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, as well as the case studies, learning modules, and original research needed to support them; the Maryland Institute College of Art, which will receive $510,000 to create a sequence of undergraduate and graduate courses, certificates, and creative placemaking learning cohorts; and the New School, which was awarded $200,000 in support of a university-wide graduate minor in its College of Performing Arts focused on the role artists can play in community planning and development.

The other grantees are the University of Florida, whose Center for Arts in Medicine was awarded $60,000 to edit a supplemental issue of Health Promotion Practice, a publication of the Society of Public Health Education; the University of Michigan, which will receive $208,000 to create a comprehensive repository of creative placemaking articles, case studies, research papers, resources, and tools through a partnership with the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities; and the University of New Mexico, whose Indigenous Design and Planning Institute was awarded $525,000 to launch a learning exchange among Indigenous practitioners that will generate case studies and curricula for planning programs at tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). In addition, the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon will receive a grant to create a special edition of the Journal of Urban Affairs of the Urban Affairs Association.

"Education is one way human beings can become more fully who they are meant to be. Art and culture are another," said Hilary Pennington, the Ford Foundation's executive vice president for program. "Through them, we most deeply connect to one another as people, and through that connection we can move beyond the inequality and prejudice that block a future in which all can thrive. These seven institutions of higher education are investing in future generations of leaders who will be equipped to help build that future through the kind of creative placemaking that connects us to each other and unites the arts and community life."

(Photo credit: Sweet Water Foundation)